Archived Posts

Speed kills

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Filed under: Billing, Satisfaction

In every survey the Canadian Bar Association conducts, we hear lawyers talking about “work-life balance.” I’ve always found this an odd term, actually, because work and life aren’t two sides of the same coin — life is the coin, and work is one side of it. Or better yet, life is a pyramid or a… Read more »

Looking for leaders

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Filed under: Generations, Leadership, New Lawyers

These days, young lawyers are often said to be joining firms and immediately expecting exciting work, handsome paycheques, flexible hours and endless compliments. Their attitude, apparently, is that they can bypass all the hard work put in by their elders and head straight for the reward, while bolting to a higher bidder on a moment’s… Read more »


Try anything once

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Filed under: Law School

One of my more vivid law school memories is a first-year public law class with Sheila McIntyre at Queen’s in 1990. Prof. McIntyre, while teaching the core subject matter with her usual brilliance, was also giving many of us our first exposure to feminist legal criticisms and status-quo-challenging legal theory. The discomfort among many students… Read more »

Change, competition and clients

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Filed under: Clients, Competition

The pace of change in and around the legal profession these days can’t really be overstated. The external marketplace of legal services is transforming itself daily — vast numbers of non-lawyers are now supplying legal services to clients, who have more knowledge and leverage than ever before. Simultaneously, young lawyers are redrawing the internal map… Read more »


Culture wars

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Filed under: Generations, Satisfaction

Every year, thousands of lawyers in their 20s enter the legal profession, while thousands more in their 60s leave it. In the result, we’re seeing a mass-scale infusion of new value systems into the legal profession — and the old and new systems usually mix like oil and water. The clearest value clash is revolving… Read more »

Double happiness

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Filed under: Satisfaction

I came across an article recently that argued against pro bono expectations for legal practitioners. Lawyers should not be obliged to “give back to the community” because, among other reasons, conscientious lawyers haven’t taken anything from it — no more so than hairdressers or mechanics, for instance. The term “give something back to the community”… Read more »


Dangerous hours

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Filed under: Billing, Innovation

Like anyone who’s served time in an office cubicle, I find great wisdom in your average Dilbert strip. A recent edition showed the employees mocking the boss’s mantra that “Change is good.” “Why don’t you triple our pay?” they ask. “Why don’t you work for free? Or would it be better to admit that change… Read more »

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